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Legal 3.0: Navigating the Trends Driving Change in an Increasingly Digital Legal Industry

Dear Customers,

The legal industry is undergoing unprecedented change. Driven by a globalized economy and fast-changing customer demands, law firms are committed to being at the forefront of the industry revolution that will redefine professional services in the years to come. However, to grow profitably, law firms must align every aspect of their operations to deliver consistent quality and high-value services to their clients.

Externally, firms are taking advantage of labor arbitrage to reduce costs while maintaining standard practices and shared learning around the globe. Clients, on the other hand, are more sophisticated and have high expectations for consistent experience. They are more demanding than ever, and are looking to control their spend on legal services, while they ask for more visibility, more collaboration, and more responsiveness to their requests. To meet these challenges and grow profitably, you need to align your operations — and the processes that drive them — to deliver consistent quality and high-value services to your clients.

Your clients also want their services provider to offer competitive prices and be “glocal” — striking a balance between a local presence and global reach for efficient internal operations and excellent client service. To succeed, you need to optimize the entire talent supply chain and effectively manage matters that span multiple regions and partnerships to enable you to deliver a consistent client experience across offices and firms, while ensuring brand integrity and perception as a single, integrated organization. Nevertheless, many law firms are still unable to deploy industry best practices across their entire enterprise. The fact is, to flourish economically in the new digital reality with these higher client expectations, you will need to standardize business processes to, for example, consolidate bills and easily cross charge offices and matters.

Not surprisingly, clients also demand that the best people be assigned to their matters. They want to work with the “right” attorneys – those who have the specific knowledge to address issues as they arise.  Attracting and retaining the right talent is a competitive edge for every law firm, but to succeed, your firm has to have the right attorney on the right matters at the right time. To accomplish this – not an inconsequential feat – you need a holistic view of the demand for, and supply of, internal and external resources. Only with this view can you manage and optimize the entire talent supply chain across matters, offices, and firms.

Billing attorneys are often involved in a host of non-billable client interactions (i.e. business development, AFA modeling, proposals, contract negotiations, etc.). Tools are necessary to address these activities and limit these efforts to free them to get back to the business of billing for their time.

To maintain a leadership position, law firms seek to prepare for the legal needs of the future and become the top law firm in the world. Focusing on speed and momentum in delivering services to the market, law firms aim to leverage technology as a strategic advantage and remain at the forefront of the legal industry. Driving revenue growth, improving client satisfaction, and enhancing operational excellence – these are the keys to success, and technology can get you there. Craig Courter, Baker & McKenzie’s Global Chief Operating Officer, agrees: “The legal services market is changing, and we needed a more scalable platform that enables uniform and consistent global operations.” You can read about what they are doing here.

This document offers our deeper perspective on digital transformation in the legal services industry, as well as how SAP and Fulcrum can support your law firm’s digital journey. Thank you for your interest, and I look forward to our journey together.

Run simple. Run live.

Patrice Cappello
North America Industry Lead, Professional Services Industry
SAP America, Inc.

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